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Posted by tholley27 none (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 3, 13 at 22:03

Ok so I am getting chickens and I need advice so just tell me what you know I will list a few questions.!
How much do the coops cost? How often should I clean it? What all do they eat? How much do feeders and waterers cost? What are the pros and cons?
Thanks!.! And by the way I am getting 3-6 5 month olds.!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Chickens.!

I can't add much, but my son built his coop, A frame sort of longish, I know they eat something when they are little and then the feed changes, he had some 3 different ages and at one time they all stayed in their own group when they were out of the pen, he lets them out to roam during the day when they are home. Seems he buys his supplies at Rural King or another tractor supply place, you could check the prices online. They are fun but you have to really like them cause they can be work and need someone every day to take care of them.

RE: Chickens.!

Actually came to this site to post questions concerning my moutling chickens. I was hoping it was an active board.

I acquired my chickens and guinea hens as babies.
All started in the bathroom or basement under heaters and graduated to the chicken coop. I have a thermometer to record their ambient home temperature. A majority of time the spent time directly under the heat lamp so I adjusted the setting lower to have more heat.
As they grew they would alternate directly under the heat lamp to its periphery. I feed them twice a day with poutlry crumbles and fresh water. I also tossed them fresh chopped romaine lettuce. I let them hang in their coop yard until the spring weather was above 60 degress and they no longer hovered under the direct heat lamp. They were about 4 months old when we left outside 24/7.
I learned over time and trial and error.
We built the chciken coop buying the build plans off the internet for 25 dollars. We have two indoor perches and five nesting boxes. There are two perches in their chicken yard.
Originally I used the plastic water can and plastic feeder but graduated to the3 and 5 gallon chicken cans. Over time I realized I needed to add ACV with the mother to their water so I switched back to the plastic can. Apple cider vinegar is added to their water for several reasons the primary to ward off intestinal worms and fight off diseases. You can not add ACV with the mother to a metal can : the ACV corrodes the metal.
We took a pvc pipe and cut it in half capping the ends to make a tube feeder which was great until they were adults. I now prefer to use the large horse rubber feed bucket as their grain container.
Our set up is a door with a removable screen , an entry ramp and an opening to obtain the eggs from outside the coop. We took horse fence and laid it on the floor going up the walls to a roof for their yard. You really need to go down two feet to secure their home from predators which is impossible with our rocky soil. We placed the tacky green vinyl fencing on the roof of their yard to provide shade. We also built a mini roofed feeding station so they can get out of the rain or sun. I never posted pictures but I will try to do this.
back Yard chickens is a great website to glean info.
I feed my chickens daily fresh cut romaine lettuce,and the following cucumbers, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, berries, apples, mozzarella , watercress, cilantro. oat millet,
I have given them red leaf , parsley , cabbage and broccoli with no one interested.
last year they devoured a ripe pumpkin but this year they have not touched it.
Sometimes the pumpkin or squash needs to be cooked before they will eat.
I feed dried worms during their moult and to call them in at night.
At a young age I called chick chick and gave them something delicious so now they recognize the chant to come home.
They love to roam freely which I did the first summer but by fall the hawks knew they were around and found them hiding under a bush scrambling from a hawk.
I have had opossum attempt to get into their coop.
I only let them out to roam the acreage when I am out for hours . Our normal routine is they are allowed into the backyard for the day. Several bushes provide the shelter from the sun , wind and hawks. I lock them up when I know I am gone before dusk.
I have spotted coyotes at all hours of the day so I keep an eye on them such as leaving a dog in the yard while they are beyond this fence.
My dogs have been great with the chickens but not with the quinea hens.
Plus Guinea hens attack chcikens. they do not co exist.
Our set up is the hen house with their yard nailed up to their entry doors, a latch on all opeings, a screened in yard and then this set up is in an enclosed fenced yard.
There are openings in the back yard fence that fox can slide under due to the landscaping we could not get the fence low enough. I have placed the granite boulders along these gaps so they can not get under the fence and the rock will fall on them when they dig.

I keep hydrogen peroxide around for the cuts, a&d ointment and blu kote.
I have a heat lamp, a heater for their water , shavings, and timothy hay.
The timothy hay is to spread when it snows. They hate walking on snow. we have fields of timothy so this is no cost for me.
You learn as you go.
Fox, raccoons , hawks and coyotes are their major predators.
I use a cat carrier to separate a wounded bird.
In the cold weather I feed hot oatmeal and soaked mung beans. Cat food is welcomed when they are injured or moulting. I feed oyster shells for their calcium . I never feed their shells. Some owners do.
They do have personalities.
i buy my supplies at a feed store or Tractor supply.
I also used DE sprinkled on their grain to treat against worms.
The birds acclimate to the cold so when one would get injured I would place that bird in a cat carrier in their coop at night. This way the flock does not peck at the red blood and the bird is safe and does not freeze if I had brought it in .

I collect their droppings daily. I find the coop smells more with left over rotted food so I always clean their coop daily.

A variety of food works with their main being the turkey crumbles and the lay egging pellets.
I learned as issues emerged.
Good Luck
Try Back Yard Chickens .
Also not everything you read works for each poultry person.
Food, Water and shelter from Predators is the key

RE: Chickens.!

Standard coops would cost around $200-250, but that's for 25-45 chickens. For 3-6 hens a tractor may be best. There are hundreds of plans for chicken tractors online.

Since they're 6 months, and do not require chick feed, give them layer feed. It comes in pellets, crumbles, or mash. Pellets are the most popular choice, as it's not as messy

The pros are eggs and companionship. The con is that you will be soon addicted to chickens! Plus, chickens are a gateway livestock.... Soon you'll be wanting ducks... then rabbits.... then goats.... then a whole farm!

Good luck! :)

RE: Chickens.!

  • Posted by LKZZ 7b (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 12, 13 at 15:12

We got a dozen chickens in July - they were 4 mos. old (5 Buff Orpingtons [brown eggs] and 7 Americanas [blue and green eggs]. 7 are producing eggs thus far).

We built our own coop - wanted one we could stand inside and clean - our son who is the primary care giver is 6'6" so he needed the head room.

They eat laying pellets (for the needed protein and other nutrients - we pay $12-$16 for a 50 pound bag) and we forage for them. Most any plant that has gone to seed they will devour, they love gum tree leaves as well. A bag of freshly cut grass is also appreciated - they spend hours digging through it finding bugs, etc. We used to let them wander to forage but they travelled too far so we gave them a good size run that is located in a wooded area and we forage for them. We also feed them kitchen scraps - vegetables, stale baked good, left over cooked meats. We often smash up their eggshells and add it to these scraps. Helps with the calcium needed for producing strong egg shells. Does not cause them to cannibalize their eggs.

For the floor in the coop we use play sand - it is ideal for easy cleaning of the waste - just use a large cat litter scoop. Our compost is right next to the coop so the waste gets thrown into it. Very convenient.

We love the eggs but love the gurlz even more. They are hilarious and wonderfully entertaining creatures. They are happy and healthy.

Here is the coop - the fence around it was enlarged 10 times what you see in this picture and several vents were added on all sides of the coop adding light and good air circulation.

RE: Chickens.!

You are looking in the wrong place.

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